Microsoft’s Next CEO will be a Lawyer. Here’s how they F it up. $MSFT $GOOG $AAPL $YHOO $FB

Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) is looking for a new CEO. What do they need? A lawyer of course and here’s why. Big Tech is subject to much legal and regulatory scrutiny if not outright interference. Antitrust actions are constant. Law suits against competitors are daily events. If you develop something or buy it the competition immediately attacks it because they were working on something just like it. If  they don’t attack it you will attack them.

This has nothing to do with engineering. There are thousands of engineers. some of them are even good.

What you need is a good war-time consigliere.

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) stole an attractive engineer from Yahoo who is playing the engineering and development card. Marissa Meyer if you must ask.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is post Steve Jobs but still very much in the developer super product mode.

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is still in the grips of its two founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Uber developers in their own right and employers of tens of thousands of brilliant and near brilliant engineers. They came the closest to breaking out of the mould and hiring a grey hair to help lead but they yanked the chain back recently.

Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) is still in the validation stage. Mark Zuckerberg must prove himself and validate his social media concept. But as any casual observer will notice they are spending more time on legal and regulatory issues; like it or not.

So the narrative at Microsoft is we need the next big general to lead us into battle. You can almost see the biblical imagery of an angel wielding a big ass sword slaying dragons and beasts.

The most effective leader for Microsoft would be a lawyer with good infighting instincts. The engineers you can hire and fire.

The market would be very confused because tech expects and evangelical type of CEO. A Steve Jobs who walks onto a stage holding something and fervently saying this is it and you need it now. The next day the law suits start-up.

If Microsoft hires a lawyer as CEO the competition would be very confused. If you hire an engineer you parse his résumé and you can guess what direction he will take. A lawyer well you just don’t know. And a lawyer is just what you need.

This radical idea would confuse investors in the interim but work big time in the long run.

But like the story title says. They will F it up for sure.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on Twitter @financialskepti

Googles Californication Episode plays into a Chinese Gambit. Read How $GOOG $YHOO $MSFT $AAPL #Xiamoi

Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) has a high level love triangle which shows how Sergey Brin is losing focus. Sergey having a bad case of seven-year itch has become bored with Anne Wojcicki and has separated. He keeps most of the money due to clever pre-nup.

Sergey is now romantically involved with a women who was previously involved with Hugo Barra a key Android executive. Hugo is leaving for a fast expanding Chinese telephone company called “Xiamoi” which competes with Motorola in the Android space.

Sergey and Google if you recall have had their problems in the Chinese market incurring the wrath of Beijing and being marginalized. Knowing how the Chinese operate someone in Beijing signed off on Hugo Barra; most likely knowing they are taking a key Google brain and turning another gun against Google.

Will this be the demise of Google? Unlikely the game is too big. What is does say about Sergey Brin is most important. Sergey has two children after a six-year marriage. He exercises the droit de seigneur and becomes involved in an affair with a women who was involved with one of his key executives.

Come on buddy. What were you thinking at all those executive presentations. Complicating the issue is Anne Wojcicki’s sister is a Google vice president for advertising. The sister originally rented her garage to the Google founders in the very early days. But surely to God those debts must have been paid in full by now. Is there some sentimental issue involved.

If it wasn’t for the fact Sergey Brin is a founder and major shareholder this would not be important. In other companies executives would have been asked to leave or be re-assigned.

At Google they are still fumbling with China and playing a Californication dating game. the executive suite is beginning to look like a corrupt European court. Oh well let them eat cake.

Xiamoi means little rice in mandarin. Three years old and privately owned Xiamoi may be the next big contender. So who-ever the ex-girlfriend is she doesn’t get market potential concepts.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on Twitter @financialskepti

Google Wets Its Pants In China. Chinese Puzzle – Act Global or Look Backward $GOOG $MMI

Drawing of an early Chinese soldier lighting a...

Drawing of an early Chinese soldier lighting a rocket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) is trying to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings (NYSE:MMI) primarily to scoop up a huge treasure trove of patents and intellectual property. Anti-trust regulators around the world have in turn signed off on the deal. Except for the Chinese. China the worlds second largest economy seems to be officially sitting on its hands. They are holding up the deal. Google’s track record in China is poor. Let me rephrase that. Google’s track record of governmental affairs in China is poor. The whole world knows it.

The past cannot be undone. When the decision to buy Motorola Mobility was made Google’s board probably did not say “What about China”. Today its “What about China” Its not an accident that China waited until the end. This may be Google’s moment to fix things in China and develop access to the huge market. Certainly there are back room conversations. Chinese sensibility needs to save face and appear to extract something from Google. China also should understand that if they block the deal they will appear to be backward and not modern thereby losing more and bigger face.

Google will be taken out back to the Chinese wood shed and dealt with. Google is still immature globally and is probably wetting its pants in anticipation. If you are truly in the business of maximizing shareholder wealth my advice to Sergey Brin and Larry Page is cut a deal. Get into the China game. The market is too large to be ignored. You cannot have geo-political gaps in your global coverage. Hire Henry Kissinger if you need to. As a matter of fact why haven’t you done so already.

China needs something also. If they block the deal when the rest of the world has given it the imprimatur stamp they look foolishly backward. They run the danger of incurring an international backlash for a parochial approach. Not a preferred option for the Chinese. So Google make the grand gesture. The Chinese market is too large to ignore. You need to drive EPS. Your competitors have access and can use China as leverage against you. Time is money. If you make the Chinese blink first to save face you just build up a huge tab.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Larry Page What Game Does He Bring #Goog #Larrypage

Image representing Larry Page as depicted in C...

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Larry Page is back in charge at Google (GOOG). His skills are in technology. He may be able to pick a few more winning horses but he cannot address the fundamental challenge that Google is facing.

Anti-trust, government privacy regulators and a whole host of government issues will define the Google agenda over the next ten years. Larry Page has nothing to offer. If anything he is a liability.

How are you going to fix the whole China thing? Can you afford to not be in the second largest economy? Microsoft got ripped off in China. Much of the supposed Microsoft product in China is a rip off and unlicensed. How will Larry Page deal with a China that can out Google, Google.

Disclosure: “George Gutowski” writes from a “Caveat Emptor Perspective” I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post. I have no plans to initiate new positions within the next 72 hours.

Google Schmidt 2.5 Yachts

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Google (GOOG) announced that Eric Schmidt gets a parting gift of about $100 million. That’s about two and a half yachts if you are Larry Page. At least when he bought the yachts he used his own money. This time Google shareholders are picking up the tab.

The conference call love fest broadcast the message that they needed to speed up decision-making so Eric has to get out of the way. Larry even with the yacht thinks he will be faster. Fast decisions do not automatically mean profits. The decisions need to be quality first. Maybe Eric was smarter than Larry. Maybe Eric was not impressed with the mountain of cash and is in no rush to bet the whole wad.

Watch Larry Page. Does he have a Las Vegas rush and wants to play more hands. We may look back to this inflection point. We will know after a few deals and billions of dollars spent.

Disclosure: “George Gutowski” writes from a caveat emptor perspective. I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post.

Google Big Yacht View

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Google’s (GOOG) founder Larry Page sidelined his supposed father figure Eric Schmidt. The market has been growing increasingly critical of the spate of stillborn acquisitions and Eric Schmidt who was Chairman and CEO gets crucified. However as a Wall Street Journal article points out decision making authority was shared. But Eric takes a long walk on a short plank.

Larry Page and Sergei Brin have fired their tutor. That sounds exactly like to view you can have when you are floating around on one of the worlds largest and most luxurious yachts.

Exactly what is an executive chairman when the two founders and huge shareholders hold all the cards? Can you imagine the shareholder lawsuits. This is better or worse depending on your view than holding voting shares and your risk partners hold non voting shares.

I am really waiting for the Eric Schmidt memoirs. The Apple thing. The Google thing. Lots of splaining needs to be done.

Disclosure: “George Gutowski” writes from a “caveat emptor perspective”. I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post.

Larry Page Yacht

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Google (GOOG) founder Larry Page has purchased a mega luxury yacht called “Senses”. We know this because The New Zealand Herald got the scoop. A Kiwi business man was selling.We know Larry can afford it. Wonder if Sergey Brin will do something ostentatious to match. Eric Schmidt must feel like the butler who can only afford a new pair of shoes.

The fact a New Zealand paper had to break the story means Larry was trying to keep the cone of silence over the story.

Most mega yacht purchases are done in the twilight of mega careers. Larry is this it? Is this all there is from Google?

Disclosure : George Gutowski writes from a “caveat emptor perspective” I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post. also I do not own a mega luxury yacht.